Roary and the Kidnappers

Roary Undercover

“I’m sure they’ve been kidnapped,” said Roary the year-old catling, his normally perky ears turned sideways with worry.  “They’ve never, ever, ever been gone for so long.”

“Don’t worry,” said Persephone, who at nine years old knew everything.  “Jane and Jim have done this before.  If they go away, but that Uncle Chip person comes by to fill the food and water and make sure our litter boxes are clean.  That means Our Humans will come back.”

“Are you sure?” Roary asked, looking to Mei-Ling for reassurance.

Mei-Ling, who was not quite two, and not nearly as confident as Persephone, considered for a moment before answering.

Mei-Ling Considers

“I think Persephone is right,” she said at last.  “I remember times, long before you came to live here, when Jim and Jane would go away for days and days and days, but they came back.  Persephone is right.  But you’re right, too.  They haven’t gone away for a long, long time.  I hope they haven’t been kidnapped.”

The three cats considered in silence as the darkness grew darker and the nearly full moon rose higher, casting shadows over the yard, spotlighting the toads who were hopping to the pond for their nightly singalong.

“Wanna bet me your wet food that Jane and Jim won’t come back?” asked Persephone, a wicked twinkle lighting her huge amber eyes.

Roary, who liked his wet food very, very much, but had been too timid to go and get his share when the human Persephone called Uncle Chip came by, thought this was Very Unfair.

“No…  But I sure wish I knew they were really going to come back.”

Another night went by, then another.  Each time that Uncle Chip came, Mei-Ling (who was timid at the best of times) hid.  Just to play it safe, Roary hid with her.  Then, one afternoon, as the day was beginning to cool, Persephone suddenly jumped down from the top of the grandfather clock where she had been napping.

Persephone On Alert

“Hear that!  It’s the sound of the car!  That means Jim and Jane are back!”

Roary wasn’t at all sure, and headed for the bedroom.  Better to be cautious.  What if it wasn’t Jane and Jim, but the kidnappers?  His worry was so infectious that Mei-Ling decided she’d better join him.

“Just to keep you from being scared,” she said, puffing out her fluffy fur.  “Besides, Persephone is very fierce.  If those are kidnappers, she’ll deal with them.”

Roary crouched low, belly to the floor.  There was the faint rumble of a car going into the garage.  Then heard the door from the garage to the house open.  A moment later, the familiar sound of Jim’s voice filled the air.

“I could hear you through the door, Persy girl.  Glad to have us back?  Mei-Ling?  Roary?  Where are you?”

A moment later, the voice of Jane could also be heard.

“I just saw Mei-Ling race by.  She paused to take a look, but she’s being careful.”

Footsteps.  Roary hunkered down and closed his eyes so no one could see him.

“Roary’s in the bedroom,” Jim said, his voice full of chuckles.  “We’ll give him time.  After all, our going away is very new to him.  We haven’t done so in over a year.”

Roary waited as footsteps sounded, doors opened and closed, and the house stopped being so still.  Eventually, without Mei-Ling to keep him company, he felt very lonely.  There were interesting sounds, too, like the door to the porch being opened, and the guinea pigs’ mobile hutch being rolled along the floor.

He crept out and peeked around a corner where someone was opening and shutting drawers.  That looked like Jim.

He hurried down the hall, all the way to the office.  There, out in the yard, watering the plants, that looked like Jane.  But he decided to play it safe, and watched from where he could scamper under something if those turned out to be kidnappers in disguise.

The day turned into evening.  Mei-Ling demanded her favorite game: Chase the Oral Hygiene Crunchies.  The person who was almost certainly Jane knew the game, but Roary wasn’t sure it was really her.  Kidnappers were crafty.  The person who was almost certainly Jim brought Roary his Crunchies on the porch and gave them to him from a safe distance.

“I hope they aren’t drugged,” Roary thought, but he ate them anyhow.  After several days without treats, they tasted very good.

At last the important Before Bedtime Treat came.  This was always wet food.  The person who was almost absolutely certainly Jane did all the right things.  Roary suddenly felt very happy that he hadn’t bet his wet food to Persephone, because she’d be insisting he give it to her now.

He romped out, ran up onto the counter where he always got this very special treat, and stretched out an imploring paw.

Jane brought his bowl, and said, as she always did, “Be careful.  One of these days, you’re going to fall off.”

Roary relaxed.  All was right in the home.  He ate his treat, licking the bowl extra clean.  Later, when Jim and Jane went to bed and turned out the lights, he snuggled down between them.

“Keeping an eye on them in case they’re kidnappers?” Persephone asked from the top of the dresser.

“Nope,” Roary replied happily.  “Just making up for lost cuddles.”

9 Responses to “Roary and the Kidnappers”

  1. BARBARA DiSalle LINDSKOLD Says:

    Great Story.

  2. King Ben's Grandma Says:

    Awwww… 🥲 I bet it was exactly like that too!😻

  3. Louis Robinson Says:

    You got Alan to do a Guest Turn, didn’t you?

  4. Jerry House Says:

    If only the trio could know how they inspired you… Well, perhaps not. Persephone may only acknowledge that it’s simply the natural order, but the young’uns would be full of themselves.

  5. Harried Harry Says:

    Wow! A super short story for short people like children. Very nicely done and a great way to express the feelings for our animals who always miss us when we leave home without them.

    Thanks for a fun read. I’m also very happy to see everyone has made it through the “Stay at Home” mandate.

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